The modding community can be a real thing of beauty. If you’ve ever played a game and wished for a different setting, new characters, quests or just some quality of life additions, chances are, there’s a mod for that. Some games support the modding community by releasing tools or the source code and people much smarter than me do some wizardry and put out additions that keep me playing aging games over new releases. Here is a personal top 5 list of some PC mods that completely change the game.
Mods that have been released as standalone titles such as Black Mesa, Day Z, Garry’s Mod and the like won’t be counted in this list. Links to all the mods will be included.
5. A World of Ice and Fire – Mount and Blade: Warband
The one game franchise I think of with an insane modding community is Mount and Blade. The amount of total conversion mods for this game alone is mind-boggling. If you buy Warband then you have access to more mods than you know what to do with. There are Star Wars conversions, Lord of the Rings, an 1800s American mod, a Samurai mod and Brytenwalda which introduced mechanics the devs themselves would use in Bannerlord. Speaking of Bannerlord, the modding tools have recently been released and there are plenty of promising looking mods that I think this entry would change come next year.
My favourite mod is A World of Ice and Fire. Not only does it completely change the game of Warband, it puts you in the scheming world of Westeros just as the War of the Five Kings breaks out. Mount and Blade lends itself to a Game of Thrones experience that far surpasses the last season, which isn’t hard. This mod allows you to fight for the North, the Lannisters, Dorne or even the Night’s Watch. You better be backed up by some Valyrian steel when the White Walkers invade with their wights and giants. If you want the book or HBO version of the world then you can change the settings at the start. The diplomacy can be locked to that of the book or you can play in a more fluid world like that of normal Warband. This mod has everything and is well worth the time. There is even a follow up mod in the works for Bannerlord and I am beyond excited. Actually, I think this entry might change when that mod releases.
4. Movie Duels 2 – Star Wars: Jedi Academy
Ever wanted to play through some of the best fight scenes from the Star Wars prequels with the best lightsaber combat in video game history? What am I saying, of course you do! It’s hard to resist a game that enticing. Luckily, such an opportunity exists. Welcome to Movie Duels 2 for Jedi Academy. There are some other options out there, with Movie Duels remastered, however it is a mod I have never been able to get to work. The Galactic Legacy mod hasn’t been fully released yet and the online Movie Battles 2 still has an active community. So, what PC mod that changes the game of Jedi Academy made it into my top 5 list?
It’s Movie Duels 2. Originally released in 2009, it allows you to play through set missions in the Star Wars prequels. You can fight Darth Maul on both Tatooine and Naboo, carry out order 66 and you can kill not just the men, but the women and children too in Attack of the Clones… if that floats your boat. To my mind, this is still the best Star Wars gaming experience out there and has yet to be topped. Jedi Academy may be showing its age visually, but it is a game that has aged like a fine wine. If you’re a fan of Star Wars, then do yourself a favour and pick this game and mod up.
3. Fallout Who Vegas – Fallout New Vegas
Doctor Who is essentially a British institution at this point. The TV show has been running since 1963 and involves an alien who is able to travel in time with a blue police box, and yes, those were a thing in the UK. Despite a cancellation and a period of inactivity, it has never been far from the public consciousness. Fortunately, the 2005 revival helped usher in a new wave for the show. It is just a shame that it has never been fully translated to video games. Sure, there was a VR game – The Edge of Time – but I don’t exactly have the money for VR just yet. You also don’t play as the titular Time Lord, which is a shame.
So, how do you scratch that Doctor Who itch in video game form? You download Fallout Who Vegas. A mod for Fallout New Vegas, it gives you the opportunity to pilot a TARDIS, have a sonic screwdriver and you can regenerate. Basically, it’s all you could want from a Doctor Who game. As you’d hope, the sound design is absolutely perfect and it is unbelievable fun going round the Mojave wasteland as an alien who can travel anywhere on the map with a blue box. Yet the mod still goes above and beyond. Once you get into the TARDIS, you get new quests with one being a murder mystery in a hotel and you can visit planets like Skaro. If you’re a fan of Doctor Who, this mod will be your dream and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
2. The Great War – Total War: Napoleon
Total War has tackled many points in history. Most recently going back to the Bronze age in Total War Saga: Troy. However, the most recent period the games ever reached was the Napoleonic ear with Total War: Napoleon. So, if you were in the mood for a Total War game set in more modern times, you’re out of luck. At least out of luck for an official title, as modders have already done the work. The Great War mod updates Total War: Napoleon and lets you play in the First World War.
This mod allows you to play a singleplayer campaign as any of the countries involved in the real life conflict. It also adds new units to play around with such as tanks and machine gun nests, as well as some serious artillery. Furthermore, the mod also supports multiplayer, so if you fancy taking on the trenches with a friend, you can! One of my friends and I managed what the Germans couldn’t and attacked Paris as Spain. This is a great mod and wouldn’t be out of place in the Total War lineup. Pro tip: if you do play the mod, an army decked out with artillery will always win an autoresolve.
1. Nameless Mod – Deus Ex
Deus Ex was originally released over 20 years ago. Although it hasn’t aged well, it is still considered to be the gold standard. The story of Deus Ex is what stands out most with evil corporations, conspiracies everywhere and a protagonist with a penchant for deadpan one-liners. It is no wonder that JC Denton is a character that has stood the test of time. The gameplay was also a revelation, with open ended levels that could be tackled however the player wanted is something some games still seem to struggle with. I’m looking at you, Human Revolution’s boss fights.
The Nameless Mod is one of the most ambitious modding projects out there. This is, by definition, a mod that completely changes the game. It essentially allows players to play through a new narrative with new characters. It is a new game in the skin of Deus Ex and who doesn’t want that? It’s entirely voice acted with a branching storyline and is so popular there are references to this mod in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. At the very least you have to applaud the ambition. In the end, it was an easy decision to include this mod in a list for the Top 5 PC mods that change the game.